Wow. What a weekend
, hm? With the official count at around 3 million marchers around the US, that means nearly 1 in 100 Americans showed up. And the distinctive feature of the march? A handmade hat.
When I updated my newsletter design over Christmas, I was just footling around. I wasn’t entirely sure about the slogan I came up with, Making is meaning, but I thought I’d let it settle. I read it two ways: first, on a very personal level, I find meaning – purpose – through making. And second, making something is a highly intentional process. After this weekend, I feel it goes further.
The popular notion that craft is inherently an act of resistance is one that I struggle with. Craft can be very much a consumerist hobby. (Let me tell you about my shelves of sewing supplies, and my two sewing machines that I’m too scared to use.) But after this weekend – especially after seeing the suspicious, conspiracy-theory tweets about those hats (mass-produced abroad, bought and paid for by George Soros! Like the protestors themselves!) – well, I’m far more ready to entertain the notion that making is politically meaningful.
has written about this failure to recognise real, hand-made, grassroots things, and by things we mean movement. I don’t want to read too much into it, but I am certainly convinced of the connection between making and political activism. Creating something with your own hands, realising that you don’t have to be just a consumer, is empowering. Millions of people creating something by hand that becomes such a powerful symbol – that’s galvanising. How much more can we do?